When I returned to work last month after our second summer together, the kids went through an emotional phase. Sophie would snuggle and follow me around in the morning, tears flowing as soon as my purse appeared. For weeks they both kept a close eye on Mike and me when out of the house together, sounding the alarm if one of us strayed too far or out of view. But now that the routine is re-established, the tears are rare and usually alleviated in the morning by asking the two of them to wave good-bye out the window.
With so many greetings and departures over the last few weeks, Michael has also developed a sincere and heartwarming "bye-bye." He likes to say it and wave at the ends of books and before naps and bedtime. Sometimes he pokes his foot out of his sleep sack as I'm zipping it up and waves with his toes while he says it.
With construction on my work commutes, non-stop technology problems at work, and added pressure and responsibilities for teachers in general, returning to work has been less than smooth this year. But I'm feeling more at ease now, and Sophie and Michael clearly are as well--it's surely a reciprocal kind of thing.
Off we go to another school year!